THE ANNOUNCEMENT of a corpus of Rs 500 crore for development of entrepreneurship among Dalit youths and the setting up of a National hub for SC/ST entrepreneurs marked the successful lobbying by the Pune head-quartered Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DCCI). Milind Kamble, founder chairman of DICCI, said they have been talking to the government over the last two years for setting up of such a body.
Kamble said that in 2012, the then UPA II government had declared that 4 per cent of the procurement for the Central government and public sector units would be done from the micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) run by the SC/ST entrepreneurs. “However, all the government departments had failed to meet the targets. The reason —no central repository of such entrepreneurs,” he said. During the course of the Chamber’s discussions with the government, the need for a central repository as well as schemes to encourage entrepreneurship was stressed upon. “The National Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe Hub would act as a centralised repository for entrepreneurs. Working under the MSME Ministry, this hub will help in fulfilling the Centre’s procurement policy, adopt global best practices and leverage the Stand Up India Initiative,” he said.
The Budget also talked about setting up of a Stand-up India Scheme , which will be promoting entrepreneurship among the SC/ST youths. Kamble said the corpus of Rs 500 crore would benefit 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs.